A former band director at Hewitt-Trussville High School committed suicide Friday, according to multiple reports.

The death came just hours after a former student from Florida, where the band director used to work, came forward with allegations against him.

Jackie Rodriquez claimed she was groomed by MIchael Guzman when she was in high school. She said the sexual relationship continued up until she went to college, where Guzman co-signed on her loan for the University of Alabama.

Rodriquez shared photos of her with Guzman and of notes he gave to her.

“I felt completely stripped of my identity until that summer I came back home to Miami, things finally clicked,” she wrote. “I ended the cycle of abuse and took control of my life. With this, I seek protection for other women that were victims.”

At the time of his death, Guzman was working at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Following Rodriquez’s post on Facebook, several other former students came forward with allegations. A GoFundMe account was set up to help her fight for justice.

Rodriquez, now a band director herself, said she hopes the information leads to change in the industry. Following news of the suicide, she asked others to be sensitive to the situation.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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